American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs (97 min.) 2017
By Yale Strom
Eugene Victor Debs is unknown to most people in the United States, yet, he is one of the most important working-class figures in our history. Debs was a railroad worker during the 1877 national railway strike in July. This strike took place when the railroad bosses cut the wages of railroad workers 20%. The national strike shook the country as rebellions broke out not only in Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Chicago, but even in west coast Sacramento. It was only put down when President Garfield sent US army troops to break it. It also led to the creation of the National Guard in cities throughout the US.
This experience formed Deb’s views of the nature of U.S. social and economic structure, and he later became a leader of the railroad workers, the American Railroad Workers (ARW). He later ran for president as a Socialist.
The oligarchy that ran the U.S. then is obviously still in charge. This film charts why Debs became a Socialist and why he opposed war. He was jailed for his political views. While in prison, Debs ran for president on the Socialist Party ticket, and received over One million votes.
With the present oligarchy and endless wars, the lessons of his struggle for today are relevant and important. His words are still invaluable, and in his article, Labor, the Genius of Civilization, he remarks; “Labor is the power that moves the world.” This is still the case.
The director will be attending for Q & A.
See also: http://www.laborfest.net/2017/2017schedule.htm http://www.laborfest.net/2017/2017Films.htm http://www.yalestrom.com/bio.html http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0834889/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1#director http://www.hotpstromi.com/ https://www.marxists.org/archive/debs/ https://www.iww.org/history/biography/EugeneDebs/1 https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Eugene_V._Debs https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/839-the-bending-cross